July 24 Summer Update

Summer continues to go quite wonderfully, although it’s been a Herculean effort lately to stand up. Once I’m up on my feet I can still get around alright, but I have so little healthy muscle tissue left that I can barely heft myself up, not just from the severe pain — ever exertion rips them apart internally, doing more damage — but primarily from the strength loss. A week from today I go in for my sleep test which will help diagnose what’s going on with my autonomic nervous system. In addition to my breathing, I’m somewhat concerned that my heartrate is continuing to drop. For a long time it sat at 60BPM, but now it’s dropping as low as 30BPM. I know that bradycardia isn’t generally considered a problem unless you have other associated symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting — none of which I have — but I don’t know if I should be considered about it since I breathe so little as well. It’s as if my body is going into some sort of catatonic hibernation mode without having mentioned it to my brain. Haha?

As you probably know, I’ve been doing a lot of body modification photo sharing and blogging on my Facebook wall — https://www.facebook.com/larratt — and quite enjoying getting my head back in that space. I’m not sure what my long-term bodyblogging plans are, if any, but I’ve written a good Facebook scraper that, along with the CSV files that I’m generating using SocialSafe, is doing a wonderful job downloading all the images at full quality as well as the link-annotated text. My plan is to publish these occasionally as both PDF downloads and as print books/magazines for those that like hardcopy. Along those lines, Rachel is coming to visit Nefarious in a few days and while she is here I will ask her what she thinks of the idea reprinting a “best of ModBlog” book, which I think would be a remarkable little project. Nefarious is at drama camp this week, so I’ve had time to work on this software, and other projects that I wouldn’t normally be able to dedicate so much time to.

Now. Real life!

As you know I do a lot of reading with my daughter. We just finished book two of the lovely WondLa series that I really recommend, and have moved from this modern kid-oriented sci-fi to something a little more classic, Robert Heinlein’s “Have Spacesuit Will Travel”, a gift from her grandmother. She was worried she wouldn’t like it, and initially refused to read it, but I insisted we give it a shot, and by the time we had finished the first session of bedtime reading she was glued to it — to my surprise, because it’s a little dry, being quite dated at this point. I also had some concern that some of the language might also make it hard to understand, but then I realized that because she’s read so many ancient Archie comics that she’s quite used to the terminology!

I had a great life growing up in the country with my brother, but one of the things that I love about the city are all the random moments of culture you happen to run into. For example, as we were returning the other night from the pool, we found a giant crowd of people in our driveway with big lights and cameras rolling. Turns out that someone looking for a “gritty urban location” for their girl-pop-dance group had scouted the artists studios we live in and decided it was the perfect background, and were shooting a music video. Unfortunately for them, it started raining heavily just as they were getting going so I don’t know if they managed to get their shoot or not. With easily over a hundred dancers and crew involved, I hope so! But the distraction was good for us, because it delayed us by ten minutes from our walk to the ice cream parlor. If that had not happened, we’d have been caught without umbrellas and been soaked!

Speaking of the ice cream parlor and the wonders of living in the city, a few days before the music video encounter, we were walking down for a cone and a shake, and stumbled into a big street festival in action, the Bloordale Street Fair (or something like that). There were blocks and blocks of local artists and vendors selling there wares, as well as a half dozen stages with live music and performances, as well as food, snakes, magicians, and puppet shows. Street festivals are one of Nefarious’s favorite events, so we had lots of fun exploring it from one end to the other, occasionally stopping to watch a performer or look at the fun stuff someone had for sale. They also had one of those fog-symbol ad machines, that floats out shaped clouds, which was really neat to see in person.

Nefarious’s hair looks a little ratty in the picture because it’s wet and scraggled from having just come back from the pool. She’s had a lot of fun dying it blue/green as well, and has been getting loads of compliments on her “mermaid hair”. We did the tips first — to her chagrin — because I told her that I wanted her to ease into it and make sure she really wanted to make such a change, but she’s loving it.

And speaking of animals, all summer (and spring), my daughter has been saving up her money to get a pair of guinea pigs, and we finally went and got them yesterday, after getting the enclosure all set up on the weekend. She now has a pair of little girl piggies, that are yet to be named, that are learning to feel safe in their new home. They seem to be doing quite well so far as they’ve been active and eating and drinking and exploring, and don’t look too stressed — although at any new noise they do quickly scamper away into their huts. You can already see a personality difference between the two — the one is much braver in being out and about (and also seems a lot thirstier). They’re quite charming.

Tonight I think we’re going to go see a movie, and then when Rachel gets here we will probably go see Shakespeare in the Park — they’re putting on “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” that Nefarious has been begging me to take her to for weeks now.

Other than that, as you may know (even thought it has been overshadowed in the media by the Batman shootings) there was a shooting here in Toronto where a remarkable number of bystanders were shot. Two people killed, dozens injured in black gang violence, with several more killings happening in subsequent revenge shootings. People have been making all sorts of ridiculous noise about how we need more police and more gun laws, and our jackass of a mayor has said that the last thing he wants to do is give funding to social programs for at-risk youth — even though it’s by far the most effective way to improve these sorts of problems — which he insultingly calls “hug a thug” programs. In further foolishness, they even cancelled the speech to be given by one of the target shooters that we’re sending to the Olympics, as if there’s some connection between the two. It ended up getting rescinded but holy offensive. As for the mayor and other foolish politicians vowing to put an end to handgun sales in Toront, are they really so foolish as to believe that gang members are walking into stores and legally buying guns? Come on. Obviously these are guns being trafficked illegally — changing laws has zero effect and only punishes people into target shooting for the acts of criminals. It’s offensive.

Hell, if these gang members actually were into target shooting, they wouldn’t have shot so many bystanders.


  1. Kyle wrote:

    Hey, just wanted to say I grew up in tiny Woodville,Ontario. Population of 500 when I was there. I was the weird kid. Finding BME gave me salvation. I proudly sport two BME logo tattoos that remind me like minded people exist out there. Our world is a great place and I thank you sir for the much needed teenage realization.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Ms. Pris wrote:

    I hope you will check out https://www.guineapigcages.com/ . it has a lot of information about the space needs of guinea pigs. Basically, the cages sold for them at stores are far too small, and this site helps you to build larger ones very cheaply.

    Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:53 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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